To See and Be Seen

The Doctor: Well?
Clara: Well what?
The Doctor: He asked you a question. Will you help me?
Clara: You shouldn’t have been listening.
The Doctor: I wasn’t, I didn’t need to. That was me talking. You can’t see me, can you? You look at me and you can’t see. Have you any idea what that’s like? I’m not on the phone, I’m right here. Standing in front of you. Please just…just see me. (Doctor Who, Series 8, Episode 1: “Deep Breath”)

This is the cry of every human heart, isn’t it?”

“Please, just see me.”

How we long to noticed, to be seen. For someone to have the desire and take the time to look past how we appear to be, past the carefully-crafted social mask that each of us has developed, and look for who we truly are. For someone to see and still embrace us in all our messy humanity and imperfect progress. We long to be a destination, not merely a stop on someone’s journey or a means to an end.

“Please, just see me.”

Seeing someone takes time, it takes effort, it takes stretching and being willing to listen rather than talk. Seeing someone means learning about them, their good and their bad. It means accepting them.

Being seen means vulnerability, courage, and showing our belly, as it were. It means revealing feelings, possibly secrets, struggles, and hard places. It means taking a deep breath and trusting someone else. Trusting not only that they will listen and hear us, but that they will not cast us aside upon the hearing. Being seen takes risk; it takes trust.

“Please, just see me.”

What would it be like if we chose to see others? I know that we all want to be seen but, in order to be seen, it means that we must be willing to see others as well.


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